BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. – Massachusetts Maritime Academy rode a relentless offensive attack against Salem State University to earn an 8-5 victory and improve to 2-1 on the season. Benjamin Avakian and Cody Livermore provided much of the fire as the former drilled home four goals, while the latter dished off four assists.
The two clubs started off slowly, with only a single shot apiece in the first five minutes, but the Buccaneers pelted shots relentlessly in the direction of Chris Schaub for the middle third of the first quarter, finally breaking the deadlock at 6:08 left with an unassisted goal from Avakian.
Just over a minute later, however, the Vikings picked up the ricochet off another Avakian shot, charged down the field and, in three passes, scored an equalizer off the stick of Charlie Bourgeois. Zach LeRose earned the assist.
However, the tie did not last long as 45 seconds later, midfielder Casey Fisher struck a goal off a pass from Livermore to make it 2-1 MMA. Just over a minute after, Ben Barattini took a feed from Ted Powers to give the hosts a two-point advantage.
The quarter would end three minutes later having seen the Bucs shoot 14 times, five on target.
Just over two minutes into the second quarter, Jake Lemoueux kept the Vikings in the game with a strike off a rebound, with Zach Persson feeding it to him to make the score 3-2. After fairly equal pressure for the next 10 minutes, Powers slipped one by Schaub on a pass from Livermore to ensure that the Vikings could not stay close. After winning the faceoff, a quick timeout inspired the Bucs and Avakian brought the ball in himself and netted again, only 39 seconds after Powers.
The devastating goal sent MMA to the locker room with a 5-2 half-time lead. After a scrappy start to the third that saw the Bucs whistled for two penalties and three turnovers, however, it was Salem State who scored next. Craig Denehy took a snappy pass from Bourgeois and sent it past Dolan to bring the Vikings within one once more.
Neither side could get more than few shots on target in the rest of the third and, despite a 5-3 lead, MMA looked like it might lose a game it had dominated after Denehy and Bourgeois teamed up for another Salem point.
After running down the shot clock and failing to put a shot on target, Maritime turned over the ball following the goal, but a series of miscues finally put the ball back on the Bucs' offensive end and, from 6:47 began a barrage of shots that ended a minute later after Kenny Parnell drew a 60-second penalty for cross-checking.
Salem State immediately took the ball down and got off a shot, but a violation afterward caused MMA to get the ball and Samuel Hastings cleared it up field and fed it Livermore. The energetic attacker snuck it to Avakian and despite being a man down, the Blue-and-Gold went up 6-4. An unsportsmanlike conduct and a trip by the Vikings suddenly switched the man advantage in Maritime's favour and Fisher immediately capitalized, cranking one into the net. Mike Sharry's helper delivered the 7-4 lead with 4:11 remaining.
However, Coach Rick Bagby's men were not finished as Sharry controlled the ball off the faceoff and fired it in quickly to Avakian and, incredibly, MMA had its eighth goal only eight seconds later.
While Salem managed to pull one back with 1:56 on the clock, Maritime picked up a well-deserved victory for its second win in-a-row. The Vikings dropped to 1-4 on the campaign despite three assists from Bourgeois.
Dolan saved 9-of-14 shots by Viking attackers, who launched 26 attacks in total. Meanwhile, Schaub could only manage to secure half of the 16 shots on target by Maritime hitters, who launched 42 attempts in total.
Avakian was the individual leader with 13 shots, six on target, and four goals, turning the ball over only once. The four goals tie him with Livermore for with the team lead with five. Livermore took a pair of shots himself and, after three early turnovers, ran the offense well, finishing with four assists and only one more TO. The four points gave him 12 for the season. Kevin Clark was 3-for-3 in shots on target, while Barattini took six shots, putting two on target, including his second goal of the year.
Pending weather, Bagby's side will venture to Paxton, Mass. and take on Anna Maria (2-3) in a non-conference bout on Saturday at 1 p.m. Live stats will be available via the website.
Gabriel Fidler, Sports Information Associate